The BMW Group Report 2023 document is out, all 339 pages of it. While most of the bulky PDF is about financial numbers that would be an absolute bore to share here, something interesting did catch our attention. Final sales numbers for each model line are detailed, showing the Z4 outsold the XM last year.

The sporty roadster racked up 10,957 sales in 2023 when demand dropped by 8.9% compared to the previous year. The XM was delivered to 6,749 customers during its first year on the market, albeit it wasn’t available in all regions from January 1. The market launch took place later in the spring, so 2024 is going to be the SUV’s first full year.

I know what you’re probably thinking. Why are we comparing the Z4 with the XM considering the massive price gap between the two. Indeed, the flagship M model is roughly three times more expensive, so what’s the point? Well, there has been a lot of hype around XM, especially since BMW proudly calls it the first dedicated M model after the iconic M1. It’s also the most powerful production vehicle from Munich and takes the shape of an SUV to feed a never-ending thirst customers have for high-riding vehicles.

Since we touched on popularity, the Z4 and XM are at opposite ends. The convertible market continues to shrink year after year, so much so that BMW is reportedly killing the Z4 and 8 Series Convertible after the current-gen models run their course. Outside of the BMW world, archrival Mercedes has fused the C-Class Coupe/Convertible and E-Class Coupe/Convertible into the CLE Coupe/Convertible. The company with the three-pointed star also phased out the SLC a few years ago and the AMG GT Convertible more recently.

Of course, no one was really expecting the XM to be popular. With a starting price of $159,000 in the United States, it’s not going to be a huge seller. It did manage to beat the Lamborghini Urus (6,749 units vs 6,087 units) but the latter is far more expensive since it starts at well over $200,000. Not even the XM Label hits that threshold as pricing starts at $185,000.

Elsewhere, the 3 Series / 4 Series family were predictably the best-selling BMWs in 2023, followed by the X3/X4 and the X5/X6. We’re surprised to see the i3/i8 in the sales charts considering production of the quirky hatchback ended in mid-2022 while the coupe/roadster was discontinued in mid-2020. Perhaps some unsold i3s changed hands in 2023. Another possible explanation is that BMW technically still sells an i3 as an electric long-wheelbase 3 Series Sedan in China.

Percentage-wise, the X1/X2 enjoyed the largest growth year over year as demand rose by 31.3%, fueled by the arrival of the new-generation X1 since the X2 is only now hitting the market. The old X2 was quietly discontinued in 2022. The electric-only iX was up by 30.3% compared to 2022, while demand for the 7 Series/8 Series increased by 22.7% thanks to the latest flagship sedan and its electric i7 sibling.

Source: BMW